The FBI has arrested a man accused of trying to contaminate food at a Whole Foods in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The man, whose name has not been released, sprayed a liquid mixture of hand cleaner, water, and Tomcat mouse poison onto produce and prepared-food bars at Whole Foods and two other area grocery stores, Meijer and Plum Market, according to the FBI.
“The suspect stated that he sprayed produce in these stores within the last two weeks,” the FBI said in a statement.
Authorities noted that the suspect has visited several other grocery stores in the past couple of months – including including Walmart, Target, and Kroger stores – and they are trying to determine whether the produce at those stores was contaminated.
“Investigators are currently coordinating with state of Michigan and Washtenaw County Health Officials to determine the extent of any contamination and the threat to the public,” the FBI said.
The FBI was alerted to the suspect’s activities after a Whole Foods employee witnessed him pouring a liquid onto items at the prepared-food bars.
Whole Foods shut down its food bars afterward.
The store said in a statement:
Out of an abundance of caution, all salad and hot food bars were immediately closed down at the store, all food was thrown out and the store team thoroughly cleaned and sanitized all food stations, equipment and serving utensils before restocking with fresh items. All surrounding Michigan store locations have been notified of the incident.
Authorities tracked down the suspect after asking for the public’s help in identifying him.
Below is a list of the other stores that may have been targeted, based on the FBI’s investigation. Michigan authorities are encouraging consumers to throw away any produce or prepared foods purchased at the stores.
- Busch’s, 2240 S Main Street, Ann ArborCupcake Station, 116 E Liberty, Ann ArborFamily Fare, 2026 North Saginaw, MidlandKroger, 3838 Richfield Road, FlintMeijer, #108, 7300 Eastman Ave, MidlandMeijer, #64, 3145 Ann Arbor-Saline, Ann ArborMeijer, #213, 9515 Birch Run Rd, Birch RunMillers Mini Mart, 3001 Bay City Rd, Midland, MIPlum Market, 375 North Maple, Ann ArborTarget, 2000 Waters Road, Ann ArborThai Grocery, 3115 Oak Valley Drive, Ann ArborWalmart, 910 Joe Mann Blvd, MidlandWalmart, 7000 E Michigan Ave, SalineWhole Foods, 990 W Eisenhower Pkwy, Ann Arbor
“Out of an abundance of caution and to protect public health and food safety, I encourage consumers to dispose of any foods purchased from salad bars, olive bars and ready-to-eat hot and cold food areas from these stores between mid-March and the end of April,” said Jamie Clover Adams, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.